Definition of Retrospective labeling
Occurs when a deviant recognizes her acts as deviant prior to the primary deviance, while prospective labeling is when the deviant recognizes future acts as deviant.
Examples of Retrospective labeling in the following topics:
- Labeling Theory The fourth main sociological theory of deviance is labeling theory.
- Labeling theory argues that people become deviant as a result of others forcing that identity upon them.
- Labeling theory allows us to understand how past behaviors of a deviant-labeled individual are reinterpreted in accordance with their label.
- This process of recasting past actions in light of a current deviant identity is referred to as "retrospective labeling."
- A clear example of retrospective labeling is seen in how the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre were recast after the incident took place.